EVERY baby born throughout 2011 is a special delivery for the parents involved, but baby Grace Olivia truly is Karen and Andrew King’s “miracle baby”.
Karen learned she was expecting a baby at a time when she least expected it: she was on a waiting list for an egg donor, having been told she had ovarian failure and had gone into premature menopause at the age of 36.
“I was seen at Peterborough District Hospital and told I had more chance of winning the lottery than conceiving naturally,” says Karen, who lives in Meadow Close, Pinchbeck, with her family.
Having been put on a register for a donor egg by an IVF clinic, Karen noticed that the heart palpitations and other symptoms of the menopause had stopped and her body seemed to have returned to normal.
Karen returned to her GP for a repeat hormone test, and was told it was unlikely the menopause had reversed, and so was astounded to receive a telephone call telling her she was pregnant. Grace was born by Caesarian section – because Karen had a number of problems in pregnancy – on May 5 at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital weighing 7lbs.
“I call her my little miracle,” says Karen. “They don’t know what reversed the menopause, but told me if I had been 37 it wouldn’t be classed as premature as it can be expected at any time from 38 onwards.
“I had always wanted children and I hoped the diagnosis was wrong, but whatever switched itself off in my body switched itself back on.
“I’d like to have more children but I don’t know because everything seems to have changed again and I am having blood tests to see if I have gone back to where I was, but I am so lucky to have Grace and I have to focus on what I have got. She’s very good, eats and sleeps well and is very happy. We are truly blessed.”
However, the experience has made Karen aware of the plight of women waiting for donor eggs and what she sees as the lack of awareness of female egg donation.
She said: “The issue of egg donation is so unknown and there are so many women out there who need it, yet everyone knows about sperm donation. I really feel I want to publicise the fact and encourage women to donate eggs. If people don’t donate, then women like me wouldn’t have that chance.”
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority website estimates that 1,200 egg donors are currently needed. The procedure is not simple, but financial compensation is paid to donors. The website also points out that any person born as a result of donation since April 2005 is entitled, once they become 18, to know their donor’s name and last known address.
nOf course, every baby born in South Holland is a special child and parents spend a considerable amount of time selecting a name for the new family member.
Nationally, the most popular baby names of 2011 are, for boys, Oliver followed by Jack and Harry, although new parents in South Holland have bucked that trend. Mums and dads who have chosen to announce the birth of their new baby in these newspapers have chosen Harry and Riley as the most popular names for boys, followed by Seth, Jack, Hayden, Ryan, Noah, Alfie and a surprising Sidney.
Top girls’ names in the UK for 2011 are Lily, Emily and Isabella, but in South Holland it is Molly, followed by Jessica, Daisy and variations on the name Isabel.